Published Thursday, December 06, 2012
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Foreclosure-related advertisements for Coweta County have dropped steadily in the past two months, and there are only 102 in today's edition of The Newnan Times-Herald — the lowest number since July of 2007.
Last month, there were 140 listings — the lowest since September of 2011 and the second lowest since August 2008.
The decline in foreclosures reflects a growing national trend.
But this month's extreme drop likely has a lot to do with the holidays.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced this week that they would stop foreclosures for Christmas. The two organizations, which back the majority of mortgages in the U.S., said they will halt foreclosure evictions from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2.
JP Morgan Chase announced it would suspend all evictions from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2; Citigroup also announced it would be suspending foreclosures for the holidays but didn't specify the exact dates.
In 2011, the foreclosures dropped from 242 in November to 155 in December. In 2010, foreclosures dropped from 307 to 199.
The holiday spirit apparently didn't touch the mortgage holders in 2009, when foreclosures went from 185 in November to 230 in December.
But even taking into account the halts for the holidays, there is a trend of fewer foreclosures.
National information and analytics firm CoreLogic released its National Foreclosure Report for October on Monday. The report provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and the overall foreclosure inventory.
Nationally, completed foreclosures fell from 77,000 in September to 58,000 in October, a 25 percent decrease.
Completed foreclosures are used because not every property that is listed in a foreclosure advertisement is ultimately foreclosed on.
Last October, there were 70,000 completed foreclosures, a 17 percent year-over-year decrease.
That's compared to the average of 21,000 completed foreclosures each month between 2000 and 2006, according to CoreLogic.
Approximately 1.3 million homes — 3.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage — were in the national foreclosure inventory in October 2012. That's compared to 1.5 million in October 2011.
The foreclosure inventory includes homes in any stage of the foreclosure process.
"A lower foreclosure inventory is a good indication of improving housing markets," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "The downward trend in foreclosure inventories over the past year is yet another signal that a recovery in housing is gaining traction."
Foreclosure numbers over the last year are:
• Jan. 2012 - 199 (down from 217 in 2011, or -8.3 percent).
• Feb. 2012 - 165 (down from 227 in 2011, or -27 percent).
• March 2012 - 164 (down from 235 in 2011, or -30 percent).
• April 2012 - 162 (up from 159 in 2011, or 1.8 percent).
• May 2012 - 214 (up from 183 in 2011, or 16.9 percent).
• June 2012 - 185 (up from 166 in 2011, or 10 percent).
• July 2012 - 224 (up from 153 in 2011, or 46 percent).
• Aug. 2012 - 160 (down from 211 in 2011, or 32 percent).
• Sept. 2012 - 163 (up from 120 in 2011, or 35 percent).
• Oct. 2012 - 165 (up from 154 in 2011, or 7 percent).
• Nov. 2012 - 140 (down from 242 in 2011, or -58 percent)
• Dec. 2012 - 102 (down from 155 last year, or -34 percent)
(Source: The Newnan Times-Herald legal advertising department.)